Being supportive is hard work, but it is work worth doing. Below are three more suggestions to help your spouse lead the way God calls men to lead.
- Forgive his shortcomings
Forgiving the men in our lives reflects the heart of the Lord and honors him. It resets the clock in a way because it does not allow the past to define the future. It nurtures the capacity in each of us to grow and change. Encourage him to try leadership and keep trying.
A man may not readily see his lack of leadership as a shortcoming, especially if his wife is especially adept at taking the reins. He might try, blunder, and decide to give up because his wife is “more spiritual.” Honestly assessing where we as women take over too much or are too impatient is tough work and requires much personal introspection and prayer.
…and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
- Show patience with his progress
Think about why we want our husbands to be the spiritual leaders in our family. We want what God wants for our family: to grow in grace and live out God’s purpose for our lives. Men are called to lead the family, and the Lord’s purpose is to use their leadership as a picture and reminder of the sacrificial love of Jesus.
Growing up to be like Jesus is a lifelong pursuit for every believer. It’s a journey that will have ups and downs. Thankfully, through the Word of God, Holy Spirit guides us.
A verse from Keith Green’s song, “I Want to Be More Like Jesus,” is a reminder of the ultimate goal: to be more like Jesus.
The end of all my prayers, Is to care like my Lord cares. My one and only goal, His image in my soul. Yes my weakness is revealed, When by his stripes I'm healed. He’s faithful and he’s true, To complete the work he begins in you.
- Pray for God to make you a woman after his own heart
It has been said that the woman in the house is the thermostat, not the thermometer. She usually sets the temperature of the household. She creates the atmosphere and a safe haven for the children when necessary.
What if a husband is not leading, to the point of putting his family in spiritual or physical jeopardy? We thank another HHH blog writer, Amber Swenson, for providing an insight from a commentary on such a woman. The story can be found in Samuel 25. Abigail honored the Lord by rushing to cover over her husband's evil when he refused to help King David's men and put his family in jeopardy of death.
Now the name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. The woman was clever and beautiful, but the man was surly and mean. 1 Samuel 25:3
Per Amber's commentary: “When Nabal acted foolishly, Abigail made a split-second decision to save her household. Commentator Matthew Henry points out that by not submitting to Nabal’s wishes in this instance, Abigail submitted to what was in [Nabal’s] best interest. To not act would have meant certain death for him and all those in his household.
“Godly submission doesn’t mean sitting by and letting the house or workplace fall into ruin. It means that if a husband prefers not to do family devotions and prayers, the wife does them. If he doesn’t help the children with their homework, the wife does the task.”
What Abigail did honored the Lord. In turn, she received blessings from God for doing the right thing. The Bible is full of stories like Abigail's. We are encouraged by women like her, who go the extra mile out of love for the Lord, their families and their spouses. They are honored for taking God at his Word, and following in obedience.
Blessed are those who hear the Word of God, and obey it. Luke 11:28
Proverbs 31 reveals the outcome of a wife of an obedient nature. Far from miserable, she is the center of joy. Her husband is honored by those around him. He, in turn, praises his wife. Their children rise up and call her blessed.
Don't give up. Keep praying for a godly heart. God is faithful and will hear your prayers for both your husband and you. God wants your spouse to step up and lead. He also wants you to create the environment where it is possible!
Pray for him to be a spiritual leader. Set him up for success. Respect him. Forgive him. Show him patience. Pray for you to be a woman after God's own heart.
Lord, help us to give you glory by following the plan for the family that you forged in the beginning before sin entered the world. Help my spouse to be a godly leader. Help me to support him in his efforts. Forgive us both when we fall. Lift us up and give us the courage we need to keep trying. In Jesus' name. Amen.